Disaster Recovery plan is vital for your business
June marks the start of hurricane season in Hawaii, which means it’s time to review emergency plans, check preparedness kits and stock up on supplies like canned food and bottled water that can sustain our families in the event of a disaster. With this in mind, all businesses should have an up-to-date Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan.
Disasters that impact businesses range from natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis to man-made disasters such as cyber-attacks, fires and equipment failures. Keep in mind that power outages, hardware errors and human errors, which are the most common causes for IT downtime, can negatively impact your business if you can’t get back up and running in a timely manner. Lack of a recovery plan may put your business at risk so it’s important to outline the actions and processes that can help you to resume mission-critical functions quickly and without major losses in revenues or business.
The Business Continuity (BC) section of the plan details procedures that will enable you to continue doing business in spite of a disaster. Get started by answering some basic questions such as how would you run your business if you lost power for a significant period of time? Do critical systems such as your point of sale system have backup battery or wireless connectivity options so you can open for business the day after a disaster? Can you or any of your critical team members work remotely? How will you communicate with each other and with customers?
Disaster Recovery (DR) is the process for getting the IT infrastructure and systems that support critical business functions up and running after an outage. More specifically, this part of the plan helps to ensure that the data from those systems is backed up and recoverable post-disaster.
Disaster Recovery solutions typically include data backup services, which refers to regularly saving, sending and storing copies of your critical business data in a secure location. You may want to consider storing backup data at secondary location like a local data center, in the cloud or off-island. You will want to determine which systems need to be backed up and how often they should be backed up.
As you create the Disaster Recovery part of your BCDR plan, a good starting point is to take a complete inventory of your equipment, hardware and software as well as server and network information. If you’re feeling overwhelmed as you consider these details, you can engage a trusted external resource to help you put a recovery plan in place. A BCDR is critical in today’s market to mitigate the impact of IT downtime, and there are options for every business from a small local sandwich shop to a large multi-location retail chain. Take precautions now to protect your business and prepare for any disaster that could occur during hurricane season or any time of the year.
Filifotu Vaai is director of business product management at Hawaiian Telcom. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Honolulu Star-Advertiser